For the last 30 years, Matt Winick has punched the keys on this PC (or one like it) and arranged all of those dates, color-coding for home games (blue) and away (red), agonizing over every six-game road trip and every back-to-back set, bracing for the complaints that were sure to follow. “I tell the teams, ‘Hey, that’s the way the computer did it,'” Winick said from behind his desk. “But it was never the computer. I was the computer.”
Officially, Winick has carried the title of senior vice president, but he is best known as the NBA’s Scheduling Czar—a role he alone has held since 1985, a role he is now relinquishing for good. The 75-year-old Winick, who first joined the NBA in 1976, is stepping down (not retiring, he insists) at the end of the month, taking with him four decades of memories, mementos and scheduling wisdom.
The binder and the media guides are destined for the NBA archives, to be preserved for posterity. And Winick? He isn’t quite ready to be archived, believing there are still leagues out there that could use the skills he’s honed these last 30 years. “I’d like to consult,” he said. “I’d like to be able to impart my wisdom.” It could be a minor soccer league in New Jersey. It could be the CYO league down the street. “I need to have a reason to get up in the morning,” Winick said.
The Chicago Bulls announced today their 2015-16 preseason schedule. This preseason, Chicago will play eight games, including three neutral site games in Boulder, Colo., Winnipeg, Canada and Lincoln, Neb.